Carbon isotope stratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, and 40Ar/39Ar age of the Cretaceous South Atlantic coast, Namibe Basin, Angola

Christopher Strganac*, Johanna Salminen, Louis L. Jacobs, Michael J. Polcyn, Kurt M. Ferguson, Octávio Mateus, Anne S. Schulp, Maria Luísa Morais, Tatiana da Silva Tavares, António Olímpio Gonçalves

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    We present the δ13C and paleomagnetic stratigraphy for marine strata at the coast of southern Angola, anchored by an intercalated basalt with a whole rock 40Ar/39Ar radiometric age of 84.6 ± 1.5 Ma, being consistent with both invertebrate and vertebrate biostratigraphy. This is the first African stable carbon isotope record correlated to significant events in the global carbon record spanning the Late Cenomanian to Early Maastrichtian. A positive ~3% excursion seen in bivalve shells below the basalt indicates the Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary Event at 93.9 Ma, during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2. Additional excursions above the basalt are correlated to patterns globally, including a negative ~3% excursion near the top of the section interpreted as part of the Campanian-Maastrichtian Boundary Events. The age of the basalt ties the studied Bentiaba section to a pulse of Late Cretaceous magmatic activity around the South Atlantic and significant tectonic activity, including rotation, of the African continent.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)452-462
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
    Issue numberPA2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Africa
    • Atlantic
    • Chemostratigraphy
    • Cretaceous
    • Magnetic polarity stratigraphy
    • Stable carbon isotopes


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